tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC November 2, 2013 10:00am-12:00pm EDT
at else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's yo policy? this morning, my question -- what are the women of texas going to do now? and we'll answer calls about obama care. plus the connection between slavery and the ivy league. but first why we all stop whatever else we are doing when the shooting happens in an airport. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. today new details are emerging about yesterday's shooting at los angeles international airport that left one transportation security administration agent dead and seven others wounded including the shooter. this video from tmz shows the chaotic scene inside the airport
as the shooting was happening. the alleged gunman identified by officials as 23-year-old paul anthony ciancia opened fire in terminal three before being shot and taken into custody. 39-year-old jgerardo hernandez was killed. by now, these detail, the victim, the shooter, the place, they've become a familiar litany in the wake of shootings that have captured national attention for their current and public settings. as is the call that inevitably follows to make those spaces safer. only this time the site of the shooting, the airport, was supposed to be our safest space. the dramatic retooling of aviation security over the last decade gave u.s. travelers their most palpable experience of a life in a post 9/11 world, performance of the ritual, the ticket counter interrogation, the tiny bottles of liquid, the invasive hand searches, removing
of shoes. they're supposed to be assurances of safe passage. yesterday a man with a gun walks into an airport and pulls the trigger. and reminds us just how vulnerable we really are. i'm going to turn to los angeles where nbc news correspondent miguel almaguer is at the l.a.x. airport with the latest on this story. miguel? >> reporter: good morning. the suspect is paul ciancia, 23 years old. police say he entered the terminal just over my left shoulder at around 9:30 a.m. friday morning and he pulled out a rifle, they say, from a bag, then began to open fire. he may have been targeting tsa agents according to many witnesses. he then was able to breach security, made it about 100 yards into the terminal where he was engaged with police in another gun battle. he was wounded and taken into custody but not before he killed a tsa agent as well as injuring several others. many folks were pouring out of the airport during all of this.
passengers were running onto the tarmac. some were cowering inside restrooms, doing what they could to escape the shooter. here's what one witness told us. >> reporter: >> the shooter came down the corridor, past the security area, and he continue fronted me and looked at me and said, keena se? a question mark in his eyes. i shook my head and he kept going. >> reporter: with one dead and several other wounded the suspect is in custody now. investigators are still looking into the motive. terminal three, where this shooting happened, remains shut down, although other terminals are still active. you can hear this plane landing behind me. an active runway in los angeles. but some 167,000 passengers did experience some type of delay. we've been told at airports across the country there may be a stepped-up law enforcement presence, but that will be up to individual airports. here in los angeles, last night and today, we have seen more
police officers on the ground. back to you. >> miguel almaguer, thank you. here with me in the studio is victoria defrancesco soto, a contributor and a fellow at the lbj school of the university of texas. laura flanlders, host of grit tv and caton dawson, our favorite republican, former senior adviser to governor rick perry. also with us from washington, d.c., is rafy ran, the former director of security at the israel airport authority and current president of new age security solutions and consultant to boston's lonegan airport. nice to have you with us this morning. >> thank you. >> let me ask you really the question that has been on my mind since the shooting yesterday. does this latest experience expose any new vulnerabilities in american air travel? >> well, actually, it's not new.
the fact we have focused during the last 12 years on security of the aircraft rather than the airport as well doesn't make it new, because if you only go back to the terrorism against aviation in europe and other parts of the world during the '70s and the '80s, many of those attacks were carried against the airport, not against the aircraft. you can name all the major airplanes in europe from paris to munich to zurich, rome, vienna, and others that you would see that there's a long list of attacks of gunmen at airports the spot of a terrorism spree. >> i think your point is well taken here, this idea that when we're taking off our shoes or submitting to body scans or packing our sham pea in these impossibly small container, it's consistently about a response to the most recent sort of anxiety, the most attempted attack. and not necessarily the thing that is most likely to keep us safe. is that right?
>> well, you have to look at the challenge of say securing an aviation system, more comprehensively. i think we've narrowed the angle too much during the last 12 years, and when we focus on the issues of liquid and the shoes and other issue, these were extremely limited, very specific issues, and we somehow failed to look at the wider picture and see that the risk to passengers at airports can be severe if we don't take care of them. >> hold for me just one moment. i want to come out to the panel. laura, i wanted to talk to you about this because we were trying to make a decision yesterday, do we pause and cover this. right? this is not that kind of news show. and i thought, you know, i feel like we must in part because whenever anything happens at an airport it has these multiplying effects -- economically in terms of our sense of safety and security, anxiety. what do you think our response
is to an airport shooting? >> well, an airport shooting that claimed the life of a public employee. >> yes. >> i think that's an important part of the story. it's absolutely right in this case that you take a moment to talk about what happened. sure, there's a fear we will spend yet more on useless security technologies, and you can just hear all the private firms thinking whack we roll out this week? but what's so important for our country to hear, a country with attack upon attack of public workers is a public employee died yesterday in the course of doing his job. let's take a moment to pause about what our public workers do in this country. >> it's an interesting point. we of course saw that during the shutdown that there were capitol police who were b working there under furloughed circumstances, ultimately got paid, but in that moment we saw this need for security, the willingness of public workers to put themselves on the line. not to politicize this but
simply to say, look, for all that we hear about how bad government is, this is part of the necessary aspect of government. >> it's bad until you need it or your neighbor needs it. it's unfortunate politics are mixed up in everything we do now aday, but the sad tragedy is that people are dying. that cults through both sides of the aisle. security has become an industry much like the lobbying industry in washington and the states. what's the answer? gun control? don't know. mental health problems? absolutely. i'm not one to advocate for more government spendings and programs but there are some priorities i think we've missed. >> mr. rahm, back to you for the one question i think will undoubtedly emerge, which is should tsa agents be armed? >> well, that question has been around for a while. my professional u voou is they should not be armed.
i think that arming them would create a lot of requirements that right now the manpower that is doing the screening is probably unable to meet. there is no question that there is a need for presence of trained law enforcement, armed officers at the checkpoint, because this is a critical point both in terms of where the trouble can start as well as a segue to the more sensitive parts of the airport. >> mr. ron, thank you so much for being here this morning. i fly every single week between new orleans and new york, and so i'm always highly sensitive to these smoemtmoments. up next, we ear going to shift gears. we're going to turn to the dueling story lines about the rollout of the president's health care exchanges. it is time to separate fact from
welcome back. it's time for another edition of wmhp. yes, this is where we take calls on the affordable care act and do our best to tell you just what's going on now without all the confusion. eric, who's our first caller? >> melissa, on the line is corey from colorado. go ahead. >> caller: my insurance policy has been canceled. the white house website says if you like your health plan you have you can keep it. >> well, cory, lots of people have been talking about the president's repeated claims that under obama care you can keep the health plan you already have. but that's not entirely
accurate. the biggest changes in the affordable care act are to the individual market where people who don't have coverage to work can buy their own insurance. now, it is a daunting landscape to navigate. insurance companies could refuse to cover you if you were sick. they could charge you more if they calculated that you cost them more because, for example, you were older or a woman who might have children. they could finagle their fine print so that the policies didn't actually do the job of insurance, which is to protect you from financial disaster if you fall ill. so take a look at the bankruptcies there that are declared due to medical costs which in the u.s. is most bankruptcies. more than three-quarters of the people who went bankrupt due to medical bills in 2007 had health insurance when they got sick, and still they were overwhelmed by the cost. so a few years ago as a country, we decided that that wasn't right and that most people, even republicans, believe insurers should be obligated to cover people who are sick.
now, because of the aca they have to, and their policies have to be much better. they must offer basic benefits like prevent tif care, maternity care and prescription drugs. if you have a policy that doesn't meet those rules, well, you won't anymore after january 1st because those policies will be noncompliant. so people are getting letters that are telling them just that. eric, who is our next caller? >> melissa, we have kathy from washington state. go ahead, caller. >> caller: in reality, this law is becoming quickly less about helping americans purchase affordable coverage and more about compelling millions of americans into a struggling medicaid program. >> well, that's an interesting theory. so in some of the states that are reporting early enrollment numbers it's true that way more people are enrolling in medicaid than they are in private plans. 96% of new enrollees in maryland are enrolling medicaid, for
example, 80% in kentucky. this has given rise to, well, conspiracy theorys that the obama administration has been planning all along to push people into medicaid and move us another step closer to single-payer health care. spooky. but here's the deal. you can't really push people from private exchange plans into medicaid because most of the people eligible for exchange subsidies just aren't eligible for medicaid, and that's only going to change if congress expands eligibility again and i wouldn't hold my breath. there's thalgs per sis sent idea that medicaid is a disaster of a medicaid program that hurts people more than it helps, but most people who have medicaid appear to like it. in fact, one study felt that 45% of michigan residents are with individual plans rated them poorly compared with just 16% of those with medicaid, and that's because those individual plans could be really bad for the consumer. and now by law they can't. that's supposed to be an
improvement. eric, do you have another caller for me? >> melissa, we have mitch from kentucky. mitch, you're on the air. >> caller: many americans are finding they'll be seeing premium increases or that they'll be getting hit with higher co-pays and deductibles or that they'll no longer see the doctors or use the hospitals of their choice. >> oh, mitch. let's talk about this. about 5% of people are already in the individual market, and some of them are going to get a better deal because the aca caps out of pocket costs and offers subsidies on all the rest. yes, some people are also going to pay more. they're going to have to change doctors or they just won't like their new plans. we don't know yet exactly how that's going to break down, but there are also millions who will get insurance who had none before. they're going to be able to take their medications every day and get a flu shot. and then there's 5 million more who would be covered if all the states including those republican-led states had agreed
to ix pand mexpand medicaid. the real thing we have to decide, my friend, mitch, depending on how you look at it, we may have already decided it back in march of 2010 when the law was signed, is what are we willing to trade away for the greater good? and whether making that argument is an effective political argument. joining us now is democratic strategist tara dowdell, nice to have you. >> thank you. >> we always do our wmhp when we're trying to get rid of some of the rumors and get to the facts. of all the things you've heard this week, what are the legitimate complaints about aca and its rollout? >> that's a great question. obviously the rollout has been troubled because of the website difficulties. and remember, this website -- people are making it seem as if -- i build websites, my company does. we don't of this magnitude. this has to communicate across multiple government agencies with aging technology.
this is not any small feat. my google chrome crashed the other day and they've been doing this for quite a while not just for two or three years in terms of building a website of their scale and magnitude, and that crashed. i think we have to be more measured in how we look at this relative to other rollouts and understand that, yes, there are problems, but at the same time are these problems fatal, no. >> so a glitchy website is a real problem. katon, i want to listen to a moment to what the president said in boston when he made the point this obama care is very much like romney care and made a claim act potentially where some of these problems may have originated. let's listen. >> health care is complicated and it's very personal. and it's easy to scare folks. and it's no surprise that some of the same folks trying to scare people now are the same folks who have been trying to sink the the affordable care act from the beginning. >> i've got to say, katon, two,
three weeks ago, y'all were shutting down the government so the people couldn't sign up, and now you're holding hearings because you're mad because people can't sign up. >> always surprised that this is another government program that spent $600 million and it didn't work. doesn't matter which one it is. >> this is a website. >> they're going to make it work. i got that. 18 months from now is when the whole story is going to be told electorally, and that's what's happening here. the president is articulating. i think the president has had some bad advice from his people. i told you earlier in the work rooms that his staff has probably disserved him on some of these talking points. he's made the case that this is his law, made the case that it was going to work and that everybody could do it. the misnomers out there are really what is it, and then the fear that i see in some states i work in, the fear is i'm not going to be able to get insurance. he's going to fix it and answer it because when the president of the united states says i'm not happy, there are a lot of people ducking for their jobs. >> i'll give you what felt like a kind of aca red line where he
says if you want to keep your plan, you can, period, could potentially have been a sort of messaging problem. and i'll give you there are real glitches in the website. but it does feel to me, vicky, like that's different are than the claims being made this week, which is that aca itself, health care reform is a failure. >> it's so hard to get past that red line, melissa. there was a weakness in the aca of going on the offense since the beginning, going out and having public knowledge campaigns about what this program was. i think this is where people will get stuck and it will take a little time to get the information out there and for folks to see in the long term this is going to work but right now they're angry that they felt the president lied to them. >> president could have said you can keep your hair, too, but -- it's the programs that are changing. you're right, the messaging wasn't per fekt. wow, breaking news on the obama administration. but let's be serious. what people i think are getting this week is, you know what, the
health plan that's being canceled is like that lemon car in my garage. i like it, i really like it, i want to keep it, i pay my payments on it. everybody tells me i shouldn't take it on the road. i hope i never have to take it on the road. and eventually someone's going to sate, you know what, that has to come off the road and you have to give up the car you like so much because it's a lemon. that's what's going on. >> that kind of lemon point, i feel like part of what happened when the president said if you like your plan you can keep it is there was an asummings in the administration that people wouldn't like that plan, like the plan that forces them to pay thousands of dollars in out of pocket costs that was bare bones and people wouldn't like it and would be want nug plans. now suddenly, at least you see on this concern trolling, people did like those plan, wanted to keep them. >> i don't know that they liked those plans but it's the devil you know versus the devil you
don't know. the bigger issue is the fear of what my new plan will be, what that new cost will be. it's completed by the fact there has been this aggressive campaign of sabotaging it at every single level. i want to make -- if i can narrow it down for one second. >> yes. >> part of the big messaging problem for the obama administration is that what they really want to do with health care reform to say it is very complicated. what they want to do is change the entire system, not to a government takeover but from a system that pays doctors and honlts for service ls versus keeping people healthy. >> there you go. >> that is what this is ultimately about. a healthier population means less money, cheaper coverage, and that's what that means. lower costs at every level. >> stay right there because i want to go to exactly these questions and this question about sort of what is health insurance supposed to do, because we have a member of congress this weeks who wants to know if men give birth to babies. not making this up.
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and i avoid frustration. you'll find reviews on home repair to healthcare, written by people just like you. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. the talk around obama care has tended toward the extreme. this week we've reached the absurd. health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius appeared on the hill to apologize for the botched rollout of m healthcare.gov and answer all sorts of bizarre questions. >> men often do need maternity coverage for their spouses and for their families, yes. >> single male, age 32, does not need maternity coverage. to the best of your knowledge -- >> hospital coverage -- >> has a man ever delivered a baby? >> ladies, time has expired. >> man, she was, like, yeah, got
you, has a man ever had a baby? i felt like -- are we having a serious conversation about one of the most important changes to how we deliver health care in this country and like it's a gotcha question about whether or not men are pregnant. by the way, you transphobic human, yes, sometimes they are. but katon, seriously, are these can the kinds of questions republicans are going to want to be on the record as having asked these sorts of questions? >> we're going to get past all this. they're going to try to fix it. the question is you have the 2014 midterms coming up. that's where the commercials are going to come. that's where the fear in this has happened. this is a big government program, very expensive, and there's a lot of confusion. i'm just going to put the electoral politics to it of the president doesn't have to get another vote. he's done. he's got a party that's got to try to retain the senate. we've got to try to retain the house. a lot of this posturing is right
now of what the political message is. the website's going to come and go. >> i'm posturing that this is a big government program. >> right. it is not. >> a conservative, very, very not good enough, expensive, complicated program when we could have had medicare for all, when they rolled that out in 1965, papers, pencils, telephones, they didn't even have the internet. people like it, as you said, not just the 43% of people, only 43 dislike it, something like 65% really like it. >> and in fact when -- >> and it would have been a single payer medicaid for all program would have been simple as heck. you just pay your taxes, government pays the bills, no website, no confusion. that's what we didn't get, and it's the spin machine that's made us think that this is some kind of -- >> and despite all the spin and despite the complication and the healthcare.gov glitches, when we look at the questions about an opinion of the affordable care act, we still see that in october of 2013, in september of
2013, in july of 2013, it's pretty consistently above a third of americans thinking it's a good idea, fewer than half of americans thinking it's a bad idea, and this is despite, as you point out, tara, the massive misinformation obfuscation campaign by republicans on this. i mean, they've been running against obama care for three election cycles. >> i have to jump on the electoral cal clus, which is what about the government shutdown? we have totally forgotten about the government shutdown and how the republican party blundered that. where people were out of work for week, billions of dollars were lost. so we're coming -- but the aca has obfuscated this, and this is going to be a real danger for the democratic party if it is not resolved. if we get to november and it's not worked out, come to december. >> americans haven't forgot. if we look at opinions about the republican party, they have declined as a result of that shutdown. they have not come back.
in september, it was 44% negative. early october during the shutdown, 53% negative. late october, early novshgs we're still at 53% negative. people don't seem to have forgotten about the shutdown. >> anybody in washington, but let obesity fair, if you live or reside in washington and have an elected official -- >> yeah, yeah. >> bad number right there. >> not that much. >> but maybe that is the win. i will put that on the table as a possibility that maybe how the gop wins this is if everybody just walks away say, oh, government sucks, it can't solve any problems. this brings us back to our tsa point from early on. government doesn't just suck. it does all kinds of important things that can help make the world better. >> the tea party, too, in the primary season, so the bungling of this, the rollout is going to help the tea party, not just the republican party in general. those folks will get a boost from that. >> budget deficit will be next.
>> stay with me for a second because i think there's somebody else who's done a lot of wrong here and i'm part of it, and that's the media. i think a lot of the horror stories you've seen, the controlling of how we have done it. pays to do your research. ♪ [ male announcer ] staying warm and dry has never been our priority. our priority is, was and always will be serving you, the american people. so we improved priority mail flat rate to give you a more reliable way to ship. now with tracking up to eleven scans, specified delivery dates, and free insurance up to $50 all for the same low rate. [ woman ] we are the united states postal service. [ man ] we are the united states postal service. [ male announcer ] and our priority is you. go to usps.com® and try it today. wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair
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the fault for the confusion around obama care, around ooempb the most basic provisions of the law, rests not only with those trying to dismantle the law but with those of us in the news media. one example was detailed brilliantly this week by the "l.a. times" by a reporter who tracked down a woman that local media news outlets have featured about being upset about losing her plan. she said she would have to pay
more for worse coverage. but "the times" did the math and found she could get insurance for a comparable price on the exchanges. once they were working, that is. and once you factor in the subsidies she would qualify and her new insurance would cover a lot more than the two doctor visits a year she paid for over her old plan. a little fact check canning go a long way. i was embarrassed to be part of the news because this is what we do, put the regular person on who tells us their testimony, but we don't bother to ask whether or not this testimony is accurate. >> "consumer reports" did a fantastic report on that story. they're right. a classic, actually, no, really not a gotcha folks, because the opposite is true. one thing, though, you were talking about winners and losers in this. i think the big winners will be the public if the media did a better job of talking about some of the alternatives that have e emerged during this period. there was the health care cooperative possibility that was kind of destroyed at the
december 2012, you know, fiscal cliff discussion, but that would have been an interesting initiative. we saw people really interested in the cooperative systems of health care that were being investigated. the other one is we would all benefit from hearing and reporting more what is happening in vermont because that state is going to pioneer single payer and everyone is going to wonder. everyone will be on their way there. let's cover some of what else is happening in the country. we get it, this is a mess. >> or the actual policy, what's in it. so the bottom line is this is the law of the land. >> yep. >> whether you like it or not. so why not give people information about what is actually in it so that they can make a decision, an informed decision? i thought that was the role of the media, to educate the public. it is not partisan to tell someone because they're trying basically -- >> what republicans have done to say to the media, if you talk about what is in this bill, you're reporting factually what's in a bill. so telling people there are tax
krilts or subsidies available to them is reporting what is available to them. that should not be considered partisan. >> part of the blame isn't just on the media. it's on the consumers of media themselves. think about young folks. they'll be most affected by the expanded health care. we prefer to get our news by the "daily show," by comedy central so, there's also a larger culture of not wanting to consume that hard media, that pbs news hour. how do we solve that? that's a trickier question. >> although i don't know if there's any media coverage in the world that can make filling out yet more forms sexy. it's going to be a story of people being unhappy about filling out forms no matter what. as somebody said, it's the joy of taxes with the, you know, pleasure of filling out insurance forms. this is not going to be fun. period. >> it's not going to be fun, and yet, for me, certainly, you know, there's the reality in media if it bleeds it bleeds so, if you get a good story of somebody who seems to be having trouble. that's the story that emerges. but we're talking act 3% to 5% of the entire market being the
market that may, not even will, but may have the problem of canceled insurance under the context of plans that aren't sufficient anymore, and therefore 95% to 97% of americans either unaffected by it or benefiting from it, we've got to be able to report on it that way. and again, that's not partisan. that is people simply looking at the breakdowns. >> right. >> when you come back to the whole thing, it is what the president said and what he promised and campaigned on. we'll move past that. not my most favorite president, which was bill clinton, told the house democratic caucus in virginia after this bill passed, and this was his advice on an obscure television network that i watched, said you better fix this bill. this is bill clinton. you can find the clip. said you better fix it and don't give them a chance to try to fix it. and he said because it was rushed through, the public doesn't understand it, this is a big, big deal, and this was bill clinton as a former governor of arkansas saying some states can't afford it.
you better fix it. i'll fast forward it, tell you how right he was. he said you better not give them the chance to fix it. the only thing i criticize my party for on this is we haven't given the answer. everybody can define all the failures. >> exactly. >> i can tell you nobody's giving answers. this thing can work but there will have to be an opportunity. >> as soon as we come back, that's exactly what i want to ask is, okay, if this is a mess, i'm going to do this sort of, all right, i'm going to give in. president obama is terrible. this is a mess. let's get rid of aca. what is your plan, gop? [ male announcer ] no matter what city you're playing tomorrow. [ coughs ] [ male announcer ] you can't let a cold keep you up tonight. [ snores ] [ male announcer ] vicks nyquil. powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ [ sniffles, coughs ] excuse me. i need something for my cold symptoms. [ sniffles ] we've got dayquil for day and nyquil for night.
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it's not the "limit the cash i earn every month" card. it's not the "i only earn decent rewards at the gas station" card. it's the no-games, no-signing up, everyday-rewarding, kung-fu-fighting, silver-lightning-in-a-bottle, bringing-home-the-bacon cash back card. this is the quicksilver card from capital one. unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere, every single day. so ask yourself, what's in your wallet? i keep wondering what would happen if we all just agreed and said, okay, fine, you know, president obama is terrible, this whole health care reform is awful, let's just defund aca, we're with you. what then would be the
republican strategy for addressing both the individual question of insurance coverage and the larger issue of the national debt, which is occurring as a result of skyrocketing health care costs? what is the alternative. that's going to be 2014's message. last i checked i'm not running for the united states senate. but i have friends who are. the question is to fix it is you have a bill that was rushed through that was pretty quick. it's going to go -- >> that's a critique. >> it is. and one of the fixes, well, we'll figure out which politicians get that right and which is really the actually they're going to do it. >> every plan that went forward initially, even though they didn't become law, were plans that had actually left more americans uncovered, particularly slashing medicaid or, as we seef een the republican plan in state who is simply refused the medicaid expansion like louisiana, we now have millions of people who
could be covered who simply won't be. >> but that's okay for a number of all republicans. not all republicans. i was just recounting that in texas the senior official in hhs in texas was telling me that in conversations about whether or not to expand medicaid, republicans, a number of them, said, well, if there are casualties, that's regrettable, but that's just part of having the this free-market system. so human life would be lost and that's just something we have to factor in. so that's why there aren't alternatives because they don't necessarily see the need for an alternative. >> because the humans who would be lost are expendable. they're poor people, right, and folks who are most likely not going to vote republican in the first place. >> that's not exactly true. >> i don't want to be the person who's like, oh, bobby jindal doesn't care if his constituents die. but medicaid is real. it provides an opportunity for people to have medicine. my governor, who could take 100% federal payout of that medicaid, refuses to as far as i can tell for partisan reasons, will have
real health consequences and potentially life and death ones for poor people in my state. when i ask bob jindal what is your alternative, it's hemming and hawing. >> they don't want an alternative. >> also, think about this. in ten years it's projected that 50% of our population will be diabetic or prediabetic. that is a huge number, a huge cost, and the implications on families and all of the things that reverberate, and these people, if some of these people aren't covered, first of all, and the other piece of that is we pay anyway. every time someone goes to the emergency room, we are all paying. and the fact that people aren't considering that and this is not -- and we're not getting that information out there, we're going to pay one way or another. >> that's right. >> so do we want to pay in a context where we can actually bring the costs down or absorb the costs secretively? because that's what's happening. >> the aspect of this discussion that has been poorly reported and understood for 25 years, particularly in the last four, the fact that we have in the
media have not managed to convey to people that this isn't actually a marketplace where people are choosing yes or no. this is a safety net that we are all keeping up with fewer and fewer strings and prods and props and help. this is a society that we're talking about, a societal problem. i personally don't think this will help. >> social problems. >> so katon, you're coming back tomorrow because we're going to talk about elections. that will give us all night to talk about the answer. >> i don't have it for you. >> thanks for being here today. we'll see you again tomorrow. but up next, the growing push to legalize pot and why it's about much more than your right to light it up. avo: the volkswagen "sign then drive" sales event is back.
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according to a recent gallup poll, for the first time ever, a majority of americans now favor legalizing marijuana. 58% of americans say pot should be legal. that's up 10 percentage points since last november. now, this public surge in popularity comes after both washington state and colorado legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use almost a year ago. yet this new found interest in decriminalizing weed has failed to address the continuing racial disparities in marijuana arrests. in a special issue, "dope and change," why it's always been tempting to legalize pot, they dive deep spa in the fight to end the prohibition on pot and points out the continuing race problem in the decriminalization movement. african-americans are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for pot possession than white people even though data show that black and white americans use the drug at similar rates. in 2010, marijuana possession led to 192 arrests per 100,000
white persons versus a staggering 716 per 100,000 african-americans. so while it may be a sign of progress that attitudes are changing, there are those calling for allies in the decriminalization movement to grow more vocal about the racial disparity in arrest rates. among them is dr. carl hart, one of the contributors to the special issue of "the nation" and author of "high price: a neuroscientist's journey of self-discovery that challenges everything you know about drugs in society." still with us is laura flanders of grit tv. dr. hart, let me ask, why do you think it's important to put race at the center of this conversation about legalization? >> well, one of the reasons i think is important is because when we think about drug policy in general, it just becomes another tool by which we further marginalize groups so we don't think about this in terms of drug policy. we don't think about it in other domains in our society. >> one of the things that you make an argument towards in your
piece for the nation is that there are health consequences to these racial disparities, that the arrest rates themselves generate health outcomes. here we are worried about health questions of marijuana. what are those health consequences of that racial disparity? >> well, when we think about strelsz, the cardiovascular diseases, one of the sort of top killers in the united states, and we know that racism is associated with high levels of stre stress, strokes, and those sorts of thing, if we don't think about the impact of arresting black people disproportionately, we don't think about the health outcomes or research these health outcomes. traditionally the national institutes of health or on drug abuse hadn't thought about the health consequences of marijuana arrests, but they are thinking about what are the impacts of marijuana on brain cells? i like them to think about the impact of marijuana on brain cells as well as jail cells. so you go brain cells to jail
cells, and then we'll be more comp hencive in our understanding. >> laura, as we were looking at just sort of this support for legalization by age, when it comes to what this decriminalization movement is, it clearly is in part a youth movement although not entirely. you see the 18- to 29-year-old groups, 67% say of course it should be legal. ev even when it goes down, those folks at 45%. yet as i look at those numbers they look an awful like that sea change that's happened around marriage equality, for example, but if we sit back and say don't worry, this is generational replacement, it will all work out, we'll miss what needs to actual actually be worked on. >> carl's piece was incredibly healthy this week. we're talking about two its. one is a popular opinion shift on the criminalization of marijuana. and i think you're right, that's
not unlike the shift that we're seeing around the criminalization of homosexuality and the marginalization of lgbt relationships. there's been a coming-out prosesds, if you will. you know, as we've seen medical marijuana be legalized in what is it now 18 districts -- i mean 18 -- >> 20. >> with d.c., you have a familiarity, et cetera, and more and more people like katrina vanden heuvel said this week are talking act how ridiculously complicated it is to explain to their kids why they can cigarettes but not marijuana. on the other hand, while you have this sort of popular opinion shift on the criminalization of marijuana, what carl's work is point to is we have not shifted our attitudes around the criminalization specifically of black particularly men in this country, so you have a criminalization program that's actually been going up and up and up, more arrests, more arrests for possession, more
racial disparity, even as the popular opinion on marijuana has been going down. what carl's work and qua what "the nation" says so strongly this week is unless we deal with both of these -- >> at the same time. >> -- at the same time, in fact, deal with the racial and maybe that's a brain issue, too, underpinnings of the criminalization drive, we're talking at cross-purposes. >> very briefly, dr. hart, part of the reason that the criminalization of black bodies exist is because it is profitable. part of the argument about the legalization of marijuana is to generate profit for the state through taxation that right now are just in the so-called black market. it seems to me that those might be cross-purposes about sort of who benefits economically. if we stop criminalizing so many black bodies, there are people who are going to lose money, how power successful that lobby? >> that's extremely powerful powerful a lobby. as we know the prison guard lobby are extremely powerful. as you point out, we're talking about impacting their income,
their money. and that certainly has to be on the table and people have to recognize that. there are people who care more about their pockets than social justice. and so one of the things i'm trying to get the marijuana movement to think about is have social justice be the primary reason that we're doing this. when we talk about economics primarily, we forget about social justice and forget about social justice, we forget about poor people, black people. >> i love that sentence. there are people who think more about profits than social justice. who are these people? right? we would love to believe we lived in a word where people cared more about social justice than profits. thanks for being here. coming up next, the new battle lines over the right to choose. from a setback in texas to an all-out assault in oklahoma. and one woman's extraordinary quest for reproductive freedom. more "nerdland" at the top of the hour. road closed? there's a guy...
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. a new report by msnbc national reporter tells the story of 23-year-old jessica davis. jessica and her husband, eric, have three children and jessica was in the 20th week of pregnancy with their fourth child when she discovered that the fetus she was carry, a son, had severe brain malformation. her doctors told her it was unlikely her son would survive birth and nearly impossible he would reach his first birthday. it's the kind of tragic news no parent want ts to hear but it w compounded for jessica and eric because they live in oklahoma. and because they are poor. jessica, already a mother of three, knew she did not want to let her son suffer so she sought an abortion. but because she lives in oklahoma, shi had to endure a three-day ordeal that required her to cross state lines because
in 2010 former congresswoman mary fallon was elected governor of oklahoma and her victory gave republicans complete control over oklahoma's legislature. since then, at least 16 bills imposing restrictions on reproductive rights have been passed in oklahoma including a bill that makes it a felony for doctors to perform abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. for jessica and eric, such laws meant that to access an abortion they had to pack up their three young kids into a rental car, drive to dallas, live on ramen noodles and microwaved popcorn in a motel room. of course that was until the money ran out. and then the five of them slept hungry in the car while jessica recovered from the procedure. at least one republican lawmaker in oklahoma sees this reality as a problem. representative doug cox, who is also a medical doctor, personally chooses not to perform abortions but he did say, "as a physician i don't want to go back to seeing women coming in with a perforated uterus or coat hanger or somebody doing an abortion who
doesn't know how to do it." the story of jessica and eric is the looming reality for more and more poor american women who live in one of these states with a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. said jessica, "it was never something that i had to worry about -- the politics. i just let women make their own decisions. but i would hate for another woman to have to be in my position." unfortunately, more and more women are in exactly that position. joining me now is the author of that new feature, erin carmon, national reporter fors in nbc.com. with her, laura flanders, host and creator of grittv.com. gloria defrancesco de soto, from the university of texas, and my friend and colleague yolanda pierce, associate professor at the princeton theological seminary. thank you for being here. i wanted a table of women to talk about this in part because i'm irritated by men's voices on this conversation. but erin, what -- you've been
reporting on reproductive rights a long time. but what was surprising in this story, in this report for you? >> well, to me it was surprising how ambivalent some of the republicans were about it. i mean, i spent many hours with republican legislators in oklahoma where the scenario that you see with jessica is a state in which republicans have had their way on everything. >> yep. >> all political resistance has been crushed. there are some great activists working on the ground, but when it comes to the legislature, single digits voting against these laws that sent the davises across state lines and sleeping in their car. and each way, each stem along the way was made more difficult by these legislators. and yet there i was -- you know, i went jet skiing with these guys, i spent hours talking to them, elected officials about their feelings about abortion and they would say to me i hate talking about this, it's so divisive, you know, i wish we didn't have to be this way. one of them told me about taking his girlfriend to a back alley abortion in 1970 before roe v.
wade. so in a weird way when you actually speak to people who are enacting these laws they feel conflicted but because of various political realities they end up voting in such a way that punishes women. >> that notion that it is hard for people to reconcile all of their feelings and emotions around this, is part, laura, to me the reality that there are always -- as long as people are in desperate circumstances, they're going to seek ways to terminate pregnancies. how much is this just about keeping poor women from having access? >> well, large part it's been that for many year, but there's a bigger discussion going on here. what's so fantastic about erin's reporting was it showed what happens when the partisan fighting is kind of taken out of the picture. then you're suddenly allowed to have a little less politics and a little more personal ambiguity. i just interviewed the makers of the film "after tiller," but ice a gorgeous documentary about
what's been happening as people continue to seek abortions and provide abortions even in this climate and the doctor that we interviewed at grittv.org talked about the clients she that she has who wanted that other child like the client that -- the woman you talked about but for whatever reason decided that they couldn't have that child or the child was not going to -- that fetus was not going to be able to brought to term and have a healthy life. the pain involved in these discussions -- we have no space for it in our confers as it's currently politicized. >> yep. >> and i think ironically it's going to be states like oklahoma where the political picture is sort of shifted that people get to say, okay, now we're not just talking about them but our children, our lives, our communities, and let's talk, as you pointed out, about the social cost, not just the cost of this group or that group and those poor women, what's the social cost of what this is doing to us as a society? >> i kept thinking in erin's
reporting that the three people we never hear about in these stories are those three children in that car going across state line, spending three days, sleeping in a motel, sleeping in a car, and i keep thinking when people are talking act protecting children, hello, what about those three living, breathing children? >> living, breathing children who need access to health care themselves, who need access to education. how are we concerned about the living, breathing children of states like oklahoma? and then also, where does compassion come in here? >> yeah. >> where does empathy for people suffering, for what people are going through? a lot of this gets co-opted with religious language and what makes me angry is that we have a lot of people with their religious beliefs moralizing but at the same time there's no discourse about compassion, about sympathy, about trying to understand, about the fact that someone might be in pain or someone might be struggling or someone might be suffering. the family, the women, the children, so where is that in the discourse?
>> if you go back to the original roe v. wade decision, it talks about the burden on women and their family, their mental and physical burdens that could be placed on them. but that has begun to be erased. we saw a glimmer of that in texas on monday when the district court said, well, by forcing doctors to have these admitting privileges we're putting an under burden on women because it's harder for them to get abortion access, but that was rolled back. so we are going farther and farther away, roe v. wade, the intention of the woman. the woman has gotten lost. we focus on the fetus, the unborn child, but the woman is absent from the conversation. >> and her whole family. we'll talk more about this texas, but part of what i'm thinking is when you hear about many of these laws it's as though they think women don't know what's happening -- i mean in the 20th week of pregnancy. you know what's going on. but it's also in the 20th week when you first get that anatomy
scan, when you first get the opportunity to see through these most difficult challenges. we'll come back and stay just on that. news broke on thursday out of texas that the court ruling that makes sure that women are going to continue to struggle. thrusters at 30%! i can't get her to warp. losing thrusters. i need more power. give me more power! [ mainframe ] located. ge deep-sea fuel technology. a 50,000-pound, ingeniously wired machine that optimizes raw data to help safely discover and maximize resources in extreme conditions. our current situation seems rather extreme. why can't we maximize our... ready. ♪ brilliant. let's get out of here. warp speed. ♪ the end.
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when the supreme court decided roe v. wade 40 years ago it affirmed that a pregnant woman had the right to decide whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. but that right may not feel very real for the women of texas. this year lots of people other than pregnant women seem to be making choices about pregnancy.
first there was the texas state legislature who tried to pass reproduct rooifgts restrictions in june but were stopped by a wendy davis filibuster. then there was governor rick perry who made sure that legislation passed when he forced taxpayers to foot the bill for a second special session to get the restrictions through. this week, there was a federal judge that found that those medically unnecessary restrictions constituted an undue burden on women seeking an abortion. days later, a higher federal court ruled late thursday that the restrictions could immediately go into effect. so 114 lawmakers and the texas legislature, one governor, one federal judge, now one three-judge panel all making choices for texas women. you know, i have an idea. how about letting women, their families and their doctors decide what is best? joining us now from austin, texas, is fatima gifford, the director of marketing and public relations and whole women's health. thanks for being with us, fatima. >> thank you so much for having me. >> so how are you feeling this
week given the extremes of the judicial rulings that you've had to encounter? >> you know, we are completely devastated. you know, we knew that the fifth circuit was conservative, but we didn't realize that they were this conservative. you know, on monday, when it came out that we received our injunction, we were excited, we were thrilled, we knew that we were going to be able to continue to provide services for women within our communities. so thursday when we received this senate ruling late thursday night, it finally hit us that we were no longer going to be able to serve our women within our communities so we immediately went into action to start contacting our patients. and we realize that they don't understand what the law truly meant. our patients came to us sobbing, devastated, frustrated, upset. they had no clue what they were going to do because they already made the decision to go ahead
and have this procedure done and now we were telling them that we weren't going to be able to provide services for them. and they, indeed, in effect, were going to have to continue with an unwanted pregnancy. it's devastating. it's upsetting. >> fatimah wasn't there supposed to be about another 70 days for clinics to get into xlans? in other words, this three-judge panel not only sort of came in and overturned the earlier ruling in the week but actually also sped up the clock on you. >> we indeed thought that we would have more time and we were encouraged and thrilled that we would have at least another month to comply with the admitting privileges provisions. so when three days later, after the injunction, we realize ld that, okay, it's actually reversed, it was -- we had no clue what we were going to do next because that immediately meant that we were no longer going to be able to provide
abortion services in our ft. worth, in our mcallen, and also in our san antonio facilities. and if you think about it, mcallen, there's no other provider down there. so the women of the rio grand valley, they don't have anywhere to turn. so our fear is that they will turn to those unsafe methods in order to get the service that they want, that they desire. or, you know, they'll have to go all the way to san antonio, which is also another barrier on the list of barriers that they already have. some of those women don't even have the -- >> pause for just one second. you live in texas and so, you know, you see this whole sort of up and down, back and forth, victoria. what do you see as sort of the political fallout from this? i mean, you're talking about women who are on a day's notice finding out they can't have a procedure that they believed themselves able to have. >> regrettably, this isn't something new in texas.
we had seen this coming. i think what has been most disturbing 'twas yo-yo effect where we had a ray of light, thought we might get the stay on the injunction, then this happened. connie de bie detabb -- this is going to give breath to the life of the wendy davis campaign. she probably won't be elected. it will be a really hard fight but i think it pushes us forward toward making texas not that deep red state that we traditionally think of it as but pulling in more moderate women, more moderate republican women, independents into seeing this is really unreasonable. >> on the backs of real people, erin, for me, you're reporting around the mississippi personhood. i lived in mississippi. when a person was defeated in mississippi, i thought there's a possibility of sort of normalcy in the world, right, when it gets defeated in mississippi. but that wasn't because of some great pro-choice movement. it was in part because of a big coalition, the group of people who want ids services, who want other reproductive services that
require the ability to manipulate embryos, to have abortion services after a heartbeat is audible. is there a way for texas to build the bigger coalition? >> i think there are people who are at work trying to do that. what's interesting is for some people who are legitimately uncomfortable with abortion, i think it helps to have conversations in which you see the outer limits of restricting reproductive freedom. so, for example, the woman i wrote about had a, quote, unquote, sympathetic story, many people might have compassion for her but not others. >> he's married, wanted that child. >> anomaly. so i think when you tell stories about what happens when women's reproductive freedom is restricted, people start to see it more holistically. they may be uncomfortable with abortion, but when you bring a wanted pregnancy through ibf that requires reproductive technology, maybe that allows them to see there's a fundamental principle of restricting women's bodies and that i know clutsds all kinds of people all along the way that
they might have empathy for. >> fatimah, i want to come back to you quickly and say what is the next move for your clinic and others in texas? >> so, the next move for us, we are moving full speed ahead. we're continuing with the compliance efforts. we absolutely do not want to stop providing services for women. that's what we're here for. we're here for women. we believe that women are supposed to be in the center of their health care decisions. and we're going to keep trying to be that voice for women. so our next step would be to obtain admitting privileges in all our facilities as well as take this to the next step. we are not done legislatively. so we're going to take it all the way to the supreme court. >> fatimahshg gifford, thanks s much. i'm really sorry. i know it's been a tough week in texas snop thank you. i appreciate that. up next, the pregnant woman who ended up in jail. she couldn't get a lawyer but her fetus did. the unbelievable true story when
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consider the case of alicia beltran and the her fetus. beltran, a 289-year-old living north of milwaukee, wisconsin, was 14 weeks pregnant when she had to face her fetus' court-appoint guardian in court. beltran said she was at a prenatal clinic and disclosed a prior drug addiction to percocet. she told the physician's assistant she had weaned herself off the drug and did not need a prescription for another drug to help with withdrawal. the medical staff was clearly suspect so beltran found herself in chains and in family court all because of wisconsin's 15-year-old cocaine mom law
allowing pregnant women to be taken into pregnant custody, jailed or forced into treatment due to the use of drugs or alcohol. this "new york times" reported based in part on a letter from a doctor beltran said she never even met. on threat of jail, ms. beltran remained at a treatment center for months. when the center september her home she'd lost her job and now hopes to find temporary work over the holidays. meanwhile, multiple urine tests showed that beltran was, in fact, clean of percocet and it would appear that the greatest threat to both her and her fetus was imposed by the state. the level of mad that this made me. we'll talk about slavery a bit and i know your research is around women in slavery and that's what it made me think about. this idea the fetus, the state has an interest in the fetus separate and apart from the mother because it somehow had some sort of economic or something the state is interested in that somehow could just disconnect it from the woman who's carrying it? >> your body doesn't belong to
you. there was a recent incident in pennsylvania where a woman called a police officer because a man touched her pregnant belly. she didn't want to be touched. and so many of the comments on that story had to do with, oh, but it's a baby, but, oh -- we want to touch you. you would not walk up to you or me in the middle of the street, hopefully, and feel that you could touch us. but people kept arguing that the baby somehow is already a citizen, already public, already -- so does her body belong to her? does she get to make medical decisions in consultation with her doctors that are fundamentally private or are we willing to go the road that this is taking us to the fact that literally parts of our bodies don't belong to us. do prostates belong to men? >> we literally cannot imagine another internal organ, your lung, your kidney, something else that we would allow others to legislate and control in this way.
>> i think what we're talking about is rights. lynn paltrow, i know you've folken to and is quoted in that "new york times" story about wisconsin's been involved in this case, national advocates for pregnant women, she talks about it kind of jane crow, that this is not just about controlling women's bodies, this is about controlling women's basic human rights. in fact, denying human rights to women the minute they become pregnant. i think the more we talk about this as a rights issue, your right to decide where you have a kid, your right to decide what kind of prenatal and postnatal care you want, your rights to be a decision-making adult suddenly get taken away from you when you get pregnant? i don't think what that's what americans think the constitution is about. >> but somehow the privacy returned as soon as the baby was born. right? there's all of this state interest in the fetus but very little state interest in feeding and educating the children that show up on the other side.
>> talking about the drug war, i mean, the ways in which this intersects with the criminalization of drugs and, you know, not only does her body not belong to her but even -- and from a rights perspective it's an outrage, even from a public health perspective, if she were legitimately addicted the criminalization of this woman is actively discouraging people from seeking prenatal care. >> yes. >> why would you go to a doctor if you're afraid of getting shackled and sent to prison? >> it's more than that. we have to put it on the table this is essentially about poor women. >> right. >> and the ways in which we want to continue to strip poor people of their dignity. so we want to legislate their bodies because there will always be people who have access to health care, their money can buy them access to prooich si. but we're really talking act working class and poor women again and again. >> and my bet is that if she were married, if she were someone's wife -- >> she would have the protection. >> there would be a kind of -- >> i talked to the legislators
and one of the reasons they're conflicted but not that angry, they know their daughters and wives can afford to go across state lines or subvert these criminalizations. >> i think what you find with the criminalization is there's a racial dynamic. no question. yes, it has to do with class but there is in the same way we discussed it around drugs a disproportionate women of color who are targeted. >> the very fact this cocaine mom law exists on the books is because of that weird thing that happened in the '80s and 'ninety that happened around crack babies, and if dr. hart were still here he'd tell us turned out to be mostly false. >> you know, but it is absolutely about pro women but we have to step out and broaden the coalition. it's about rights. it's about women. there's so much focus on the fetus. but i've talked about this before. the republican platform, when it talks about the abortion plank, no mention of women. it's about the fetus. it's about the unborn child. and we are left in the dust. >> the group that i keep hoping will champion this actually
isn't a group of women, it's group of men. that is as marriage equality rights expand and more same-sex male couples need reproductive capacity through ivf and surrogacy and other reproductive technologies that the same coalition this which has done this extraordinary work of changing the american landscape over the course of the past decade will show up and say, i want my gay men who now have the rights to marry who be will begin to have the rights to want to have families so show up on this fight because it will impact men and their ability to have families here. come with us. be allies. >> having this conversation about personhood. i think again, back in the 1860s. we have fetal personhood. can we please have female personhood? >> yes. thanks so much to erin carmon and to laura flanders. coming up, the legacy of slavery in places where you may least expect it. but before that i've still got a
in the nation, what's precious to you is precious to us. ♪ love is strange so when coverage really counts, count on nationwide insurance. we put members first. join the nation. ♪ nationwide is on your side ♪ right now in 2013 employers can fire employees because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transjender and there's no federal law that can stop them. this is an oversight that would come as a surprise to 8 in 10 americans who assume gender identity are protected by employee nondiscrimination policy. congress has been trying and failing for nearly two deck ailds to pass a bill to provide workplace protections for lgbt americans. it's called the employment nondiscrimination act, more commonly known as enda and it
would make it illegal to terminate employment based on sexual discrimination or gender identity. but as of monday, after die manager the u.s. senate in '96 and 2001 and again in 2007, it's looking like enda may finally have the 60 votes it needs to pass. of course it faces a tougher road in the house. but the senate support would still be a significant step for national leadership on the issue of lgbt equality, which is why, in my terror alert week, i want to ask one of the senate's most visible leaders and one of enda's most vocal critics to reconsider. dear senator john mccain, it's me, melissa. i have to say i'm a little disappointed. you've been one of the loudest voices of reasonable republicanism amid the insanity swirling around your side of the aisle lately. it was a bit of a letdown when i saw that you've taken a decidedly unreasonable stance on workplace equality. when asked about the concerns that you could stop you from
voting yes on enda, you said, "whether it imposes quotas, whether it has reverse discrimination, whether it has the kinds of provisions that really preserve equal rights for all citizens or like, for example, busing, busing was done in the name of equality, busing was a failure. ask people in boston if busing turned out to be a good idea." well, senator, if that was all that was bothering you, let me ease your mind. first, does edna impose a quota? no. nothing in the bill would require an employer to hire a person based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. have you read section four of the legislation? a specific provision that says no preferential treatment or quotas. is it reverse discrimination? absolutely not. the bill makes an exemption for religious organizations who would rather continue to discriminate against lgbt people. and does it really preserve equal rights for all citizens? well, yes, senator, it really
does. enda would expand to the lgbt community the very same employment rights already enjoyed by women and people of color, veteran seniors and people with disabilities. now, as for your non sequitur about bussing, how about you ask the people of north carolina's charlotte-mecklenburg county? because thanks to a busing plan, that county became a national model for integration and education for three deck ailds. as for the failure of busing in boston, it wasn't busing that was the problem. it was the racist, violent opposition from those unwilling to integrate schools that was the fail. but, fortunately, you encounter no such resistance to enda. when asked if they support federal workplace protects for lgbt americans, a solid majority answered a resounding yes, and that includes 56% of voers from your own party, one of whom happens to be the closest person to you. i believe you know this lady,
senator. that's your wife, cindy, right after she signed onto the human rights campaigns petition asking you to support enda. before you cement your historical legacy on the question of equality, listen to me, your wife, the people you represent and then do what many of your republican colleagues won't -- listen to reason. then do what's right. sincerely, melissa. (vo) you are a business pro.
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♪ ♪ if i was a flower growing wild and free ♪ ♪ all i'd want is you to be my sweet honeybee ♪ ♪ and if was a tree growing tall and green ♪ ♪ all i'd want is you to shade me and be my leaves ♪ grown in america. picked & packed at the peak of ripeness. the same essential nutrients as fresh. del monte. bursting with life™. liberal east coast academic, a slur hurled with such regularity you may have never paused to ask if it is accurate that american colleges and universities are great defenders of progressive liberal ideas. what if i told you that american colleges are built on land stolen p from indigenous peoples, operate in buildings crafted by enslaved persons, and have long perpetuated the
pseudointellectual disciplines that justify inequality? whether it is mr. jefferson's university of virginia or mr. witherspoon's princeton, the american academy is deeply implicated in slavery. these are the explosive new conclusions in a new book by historian craig steven wilder. "ebony and ivy: race, slavery, and the troubled history of america's universities." it argues that the academy never stood apart from american slavery. in fact, it stood beside the church and state as the third pilar of a civilization built on bondage." i'm pleased to welcome craig steven wilder to the table. so nice to have you. >> thank you. >> i say the conclusions are exclusive but it's not a treatise, a sort of polemic, it's a careful history. why write this history of enslavement and universities? >> i think for the same reason that we write about slavery in the constitution, we write about
slavery in the founding father, we write about slavery in the presidency. we write about slavery in the churches. we have as much of an obligation to be honest with our own institutions and to be as aggressive in pursuing truth within those institutions as we have to unfolding truths outside our walls. >> maybe even more so if we think of the university's primary mission as being that work. >> correct. president simmons brown put it perfectly during the 2006 report of brown on slavery. there is an obligation to pursue truth, both professional and moral. when it's cleaning your own house, it's even more immediate. >> yeah. i love when "nerdland" becomes just a table of professors as this one is. and yolanda, i wanted to read to you one of my favorite lines from the text. so this is in sort of talking about the substantiation of american higher education initially. you write, governors and
faculties use slave labor to raise and maintain their schools and made their campuses the intellectual and cultural playgrounds of the plantation and merchant elite. you and i talked to each other at princeton, and this notion of the cultural and intellectual playgrounds of the elite, i read that and was, like, well, yes, that's true right now. so what are the implications for this history, for what we live with now? >> so one of the implications i think is about us figuring out is there a legacy, a legacy of inequality, discrimination, systemic injustice that is in 2013 a result of certain actions that took place in 1813. does it matter that enslaved people helped to build the buildings? does it matter that slavery itself may have funded some endowed professorships? does it matter that legacy admissions continue at these institutions? and so legacy admissions determines who gets in and who was the legacy. and so if those implications are
still with us today, then we have to think about the situation of students of color and also faculty of color. living with the legacy of some of this, that these are real things that are still with us as part of enslavement and the slave trade. >> i was thinking about this also in connection -- this question about legacy. so i'm thinking about it. you're at the university of texas, right, a different kind of place. it's not the east coast ivies. it's a big state university. but the fight remains a question of who should rightfully have access. the big affirmative action fight right now is a fight where texas is at the center of it and this question of who should have access. and we look back at this history, the history is about a limited access to education at every point. >> exactly. yolanda hit the nail on the head saying it's a legacy issue. just as a result of 1965 didn't mean the slate was wiped clean and everybody had equal access, both faculty and students. these are these legacies that are going to take a long time to undo because they were a long time in the making.
trying to reverse back, especially in texas with the affirmative action case, we have to tread slowly and surely on this because of the legacy. and another point, and looking at texas, this isn't just about southern schools. what was so interesting to me about your book was we went to duke, and we know duke has a bad racial -- >> it's a plantation. there we go. sure. >> duke, vanderbilt, southern school, even t tox to some extent, but you don't think princeton. >> yes. >> you don't think -- >> that's right. >> and so that is my alma mater, and i will say that students of color were made to be very aware of the legacy that princeton and other institutions had. that slavery existed and thrived in the north sometimes seems to be so shocking to some people, but it actually should not because the economic centers that were in the north were of course the profits come from the slave trade so in a certain sense you're absolutely right. people say things about duke.
duke's modeled after princeton. >> right. >> when you think about the early southern universities, they were disproportionately established by faculties and students, graduates of the northern college who is marched south in order to spread the faith, spread the church, but also spread the institutions of the academy itself from the scientists to theology. >> i want to ask you about the ideas, because it's both about how slavery and land theft from indigenous people builds the physical thing that is the university, but it's also about the intellectual project of crafting arguments for the sustenance of inequality. that for me was the part that is perhaps most devastating about this text. >> i think it actually goes back to this question of the relationship between the north and the south, the idea that the south is somehow different. it is eventually. but, in fact, actually, when you look at the academy, the relationship between the north and the south is extraordinarily intimate. and northern intellectuals from the colonial period through the
19th century were deeply invested in the project of defending human slavery from which they actually got real sustenance for these academies. students, faculty chairs, endowments. you know, the wealth that was generated through these relationships continues to actually influence these schools today. and so i think you're absolutely right. one of the great, in fact, difficult parts of the book for me was tracing the breadth and the depth of that intellectual legacy and that intellectual investment in defending human inequality. >> the thing that all of us, particularly faculty of cloud cover on these campuses live in and have to navigate. awareness of it is the first ability to be able to navigate. dr. craig steve waller. up next, tomorrow in new york city is marathon day. we've got some foot soldiers or maybe i should say feet soldiers, because they're lacing up their running shoes in a
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tomorrow morning is the new york city marathon. you'll remember that last year, mayor bloomberg canceled the event because of the damage inflicted by hurricane sandy. that along with the boston marathon bombings in april made for a difficult year for the marathon community. and that's why tomorrow's run will be especially significant. a show of resiliency by those runners and by those who support them. for some, the decision to run 26.2 miles is about achieving a personal goal. but many also see it as a way to help others. according to the non-profit organization running usa, runners raised $1.2 billion for charity in 2011 alone. our two foot soldiers this week have found ways to continue doing good all the way to the
finish line and beyond. joining me on set one of the co-founders of janji, a running apparel company that puts put 10% of revenue toward bringing food and clean water to imimportant risched nations and sarah hart man, and the founder and president of race 0 rebid, a charity team created in the aftermath of hurricane sandy. so nice to have you both at the table. i love your product. i have been enjoying the janji feel of the shirt. tell me, why was running and a running community the space where you thought we'll do charitable work from that? >> so i was a runner in college. i ran cross-country and track. and when i was on the way to the division iii track championship meet, my going to my senior year be we felt that running's been so good to us. me and mee my co-founder we wanted to find a way 0 give back to running. there's no group of people out there that know the importance of being well fed and hydrated quite like runners.
marathoners are having the right amount of water is obviously very important for them. we wanted to connect a global problem, the food and water crisis affected over 1 billion people worldwide with runners here in america. >> you've got this kind of global look. sarah, you've got a local one. it turns out being not just here in new york but beyond. tell me how race to rebuild emerges out of last year's canceled new york marathon. >> i was supposed to run the new york city marathon last year. in its cancellation co-starred a group of volunteers who literally traded in their running shoes for work boots, masks and gloves. we mobilized thousands of runners and volunteers to coordinated work sites around the ', the rockaways, long beach, coney island and worked hard for the four sundays of november. at the end of the month realized what these communities really needed was serious funding and an organization that could help rebuild homes in a safe and
healthy way. we came up with the idea of creating an endurance charity racing team and we fund the national non-profit rebuilding together. this have 200 affiliates around the country. a remarkable organization. have rebuilt 1,000 homes in new orleans since katrina. here in the new york, new jersey area have already served almost 400 individuals with over 4,000 volunteers. >> what i love about the work that both of you all are doing is that there is a level of commitment that's beyond just a sort of run, make some money and then send a check. i read this one thing that you said to one of my producers where you said, for many people, run for a cause and that's in part because running is an individual sport but you get to feeling like you're part of something bigger, that when you run, it's an escape from the world and from the cell phones and the glowing rectangles but it's a way to connect with people. so the work that you all do is in part to connect with local organizations in these nations
on the ground doing best practices, right? >> absolutely. yeah, and one tng that as a runner you know is that you're kind of by yourself out there. you know? it's just you out on the marathon. when you have you know, something bigger behind you, it's really what helps you go farther. you know, it helps you reach that whether it's a 5 k or 26.2 mile race, it helps you do things you never thought you could before. >> when you hit the wall, you push through. you don't just write the we can. you stand there in work boots and help to rebuild. >> exactly. after our first race earlier this year, the new york city triathlon, our team went to garretson beach, brooklyn and rebuilt a home for a family and a local community center. so it's an amazing way to directly help the community recover meeting that family, helping them get home. >> so i love it. so you can buy the apparel, the janji apparel, and you can train with race to rebuild and in both cases, the individual moment of the run, of escaping the glowing
rectangles becomes something bigger. i like to fancy myself a runner as i say though on marathon day i think of myself more as a jogger as people run past me. i appreciate turning it into the work of being foot soldiers. that's our show for today. thank you to dave and sarah. thanks to you at home for watching. i'm going to see you again tomorrow morning 10:00 a.m. eastern for an extra special look at the big elections coming up in virginia and new jersey that are turning conventional political wisdom toptsy turfy. plus the massive cuts in food stamps that started this weekend. and what it means to be the one in six of us americans who depend on that support. and black girls rock founder beverly bond is going to be here. i cannot wait. it's time for a preview of weekends with alex witt. >> still trying to have that runner's high. have you ever had one? >> once. i've done a couple half marathons, and you get it around the 10. i don't know how they go to 26.
>> i had it once about three miles. it's been elusive ever since. good on those guys. here we go to the news. with the food stamp livecally, it's here. what does it mean to 47 million americans? the victims will leave you shaking your head. plus the startling testimony on capitol hill. a child afraid of a blue sky. also, shopping for two major department stores accused of racial profiling and the status report on obama care signups. are we better or worse off than we thought in the don't go anywhere. i'll be right back. the "fumblind with rotating categories" card. it's not the "getting blindsided by limits" card. it's the no-game-playing, no-earning-limit-having, deep-bomb-throwing, give-me-the-ball-and-i'll-take- it-to-the-house, cash back card. this is the quicksilver cash card from capital one. unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere, every single day. so let me ask you... what's in your wallet?
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